It’s one thing when children read in school or as part of homework, but are there ways to encourage kids to read when classes come to a close? The answer is: YES! Reading helps kiddos develop their language skills, expand their vocabulary, spark their imagination, broaden their knowledge, and much more. Not to mention, it doubles as a quiet pastime to balance out all of the active fun they will have in the summer months!
So without further ado, here are 10 ways to encourage a love of reading in kids:
There’s no such thing as “too early” when it comes to books! You can start reading stories to little ones from the moment they’re born, as it helps their cognitive development and introduces them to language. And we’ve got just the playset for the occasion! With the Coral Cutie Book Set, babies will not only get to listen to a fun story and marvel at colorful images, but snuggle a sweet bunny too!
Ride the reading wave as kiddos grow older – and make it a regular activity! Not only will it contribute to their general development, but reading together can turn into bonding moments. You’ll be steering the ship at first, but you can then encourage children to say words or sentences out loud, and eventually let them take over story time. Reading on their own when they’re ready is sure to give ‘em a boost of confidence!
Create book-friendly spaces
To encourage children to read, we suggest putting books on display all over your home – especially in the kid’s room or playroom. Making sure books are front and center can showcase their importance and pique a child’s interest. And if you want to take it a step further, we recommend creating a special reading nook. Build a mini fort or set up our Starry Sky Tent, add comfy pillows, crawl in, and read!
Lead by example
In addition to surrounding children with books, setting an example can also be inspiring. Kids often learn by mimicking adults, and if they notice you sitting down with a book fairly often, they could get curious about the process and even aim to replicate it. Who knows, maybe seeing how much you enjoy reading can turn your little one into a bookworm when they grow up!
Visit the local library
We also recommend paying a visit (or many) to your local library. Seeing books left and right can definitely encourage reading, but it’s the additional library activities for kids that can help ‘em associate books with fun! And if you’re looking to instill a sense of independence in your child, getting them their own library card can most certainly help with that.
Introduce a series
A child reading an entire book is definitely a win, but if you want to stay off the “one-book-only” territory, we recommend finding an exciting, kid-friendly series. (A certain boy with a lightning-shaped scar and round glasses comes to mind, but there is a TON of material to choose from!). If a page-turner lands in their hands (with a few related books to follow), it could keep them reading in the future!
Mark moments with books
When kiddos come face to face with new experiences, unfamiliar emotions, or big changes – whether good or bad – a book can help them navigate those moments. For example, if you decide to adopt a furry friend, then giving your child a book about having a pet could ease the process and help them learn about caring for an animal. Same goes for changing schools, boarding a plane, trying new food, and so much more!
Give stories as gifts
To make reading that much more special, we suggest giving books as gifts! Sometimes books are handed to kids as a “less fun” alternative to television, but presenting them as gifts can make them exciting. To make it more fun, you could even mix in pretend play and come up with a character such as the Tooth Fairy – but bookworm version – that roams the land and sprinkles stories into children’s lives!
Bring books on-the-go
Whether you’re driving to the grocery store or bringing your little one to one of your appointments, usually toys are what come along for the ride (which we wholeheartedly agree with). But if your goal is encouraging a love of reading, then try to find every opportunity for story time. In this case, it’s as simple as replacing the toys with books!
Pay attention to interests
On top of putting the above tips to good use, we also encourage you to find out how and what your child wants to read! Do they like listening to an audiobook or turning the pages of a printed book? Do they prefer kid-friendly magazines or graphic novels? Maybe even recipes? What genres do they gravitate towards? There is a ton to discover and explore!
Finally, if you tried it all and still don’t see a bookworm in front of you, then our final recommendation is this: there’s no need to force it. Doing that could actually backfire! In the end, there are avid readers, once-in-a-while readers, or those who prefer other activities – all of which are a-okay.